Zooey Deschanel Put a Lot of Thought into Giving Her Daughter the Most Zooey Deschanel Name Imaginable

Shhh. No one has to know.

Human leg, Dress, Sitting, Couch, Knee, Thigh, Flash photography, Long hair, Tights, Fashion model,
(Image credit: Getty)

Update, 3/4: Did you know otters hold hands when they sleep to keep from drifting apart? Zooey Deschanel does, which is part of the reason she and husband Jacob Pechenik decided to give their daughter Elsie the most extraordinary middle name "Otter."

"A lot of people have grandmas and aunts named Elsie," she said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres. "Then we were like, the middle name can be a little bit wild. They're so cute and playful and fun. And they're really smart! We liked that otters have these particular attributes." We would expect nothing less from Jessica Christopher Day.

Original story, 10/20: Like a hand-carved wedding chest full of doll-size A-line dresses or a 19th-century rocking horse, Zooey Deschanel's daughter's name is a precious, quirky-cute gift you just want to scoop up in your hands and display on a vintage sideboard painted the palest shade of eggshell.

Speaking with Today on Tuesday, newlyweds Deschanel and Jacob Pechenik explained why, exactly, they decided to name their daughter Elsie…Otter.

"We just really liked the name Elsie and then we both love otters," they said in a real, actual quote. "They're very sweet, and they're also smart. They use tools…they hold hands while they sleep. There are so many amazing things about otters. They're wonderful animals."

Ahhh, got it. Congratulations, young family. May your clams always be tender and your kelp strands snuggly.

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Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.